Atlanta Auto Product Liability Attorneys
Buying a car, whether it is new or used, is an exciting experience. You do your research and find the vehicle that best fits your lifestyle and driving needs. Then you take it on the road, expecting that it will get you to your destination without any hiccups. Unfortunately, many drivers experience a wide array of problems with their cars that have nothing to do with their driving and everything to do with auto product manufacturers.
A Manufacturing Company's Duty
Auto manufacturers are required to produce and distribute safe vehicles. Oftentimes, however, auto manufacturers and car dealers advertise and sell vehicles that use poor quality or defective parts that were not adequately crash tested, hurried through production, or badly designed. Any of these situations could increase the risk of a traffic accident and serious injury.
Common Motor Vehicle Defects
Cars, motorcycles, trucks and other motor vehicles are complex machines. They have both electrical and mechanical parts; they have an exterior "shell" as well as interior "guts;" and they have computer technology. Technological advances are making cars "smarter" than ever, however this also increases the possibility of a malfunction or a defect. Defects may range from inoperative turning signals to the gas tank falling onto the road, but all defects have the potential to cause an injury accident.
Some of the more common defects or design flaws include:
- Brake failure;
- Airbag malfunction/inadvertent deployment;
- Sudden acceleration/deceleration;
- Defective tires;
- Restraint/seatbelt defects;
- Gas/oil/other fluid leaks;
- Improper road to chassis height;
- Steering system defects/failure;
- Cruise control malfunction; and
- Engine stalling.
When there are consistent reports of accidents involving a specific vehicle, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) often gets involved. The NHTSA usually conducts its own investigation, or orders the investigation by another organization and, if the investigative body finds a common defect affecting all of the vehicles, the NHTSA will announce the recall of the defective vehicle. In most cases, a vehicle will be recalled and the defect repaired at no-cost to the consumer. However, recalls often come too late to prevent accidents.
Georgia has enacted laws requiring drivers and front-seat passengers to wear seatbelts while the vehicle is being operated on public roadways. O.C.G.A. § 40-8-76.1. Georgia law also mandates that children under the age of six wear seatbelts. O.C.G.A. § 40-8-76. In many states, if you are injured in an accident but you were not wearing your seatbelt at the time of the collision, insurance companies and their defense lawyers will attempt to argue that you would not have been injured if you were properly buckled in. In making this argument, the defense seeks to prove that you were comparatively negligent in causing the injuries you suffered during an accident. To use this defense, however, the other driver's insurance company must prove that your unbuckled seatbelt contributed to, or was a cause of, your injuries. Georgia courts, however, will not admit evidence of failure to wear seatbelts in Atlanta automobile accident cases. O.C.G.A. 40-8-76.1(d).
Getting the Legal Guidance You Need
A vehicle recall does not help individuals who have already sustained a serious injury as the result of a defective vehicle part, design or auto product. But there is still a way those victims can obtain justice. At Grant Law Office our experienced Atlanta product liability attorneys are committed to helping injured victims hold at-fault parties responsible for their negligence. We will thoroughly investigate your case to prove that a defect caused your injury accident and pursue financial compensation for the losses and damages you have suffered as a result of your injury. To learn more about your legal rights and determine the validity of your claim, call our law offices today for a consultation at (404) 995-3955.